Port of Long Beach, Panama Canal Authority sign trade accord

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Officials from the Port of Long Beach and the Panama Canal Authority this week agreed to a series of efforts to promote more trade between Latin America and the United States. With the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, the two authorities agreed to exchange marketing ideas aimed at boosting trade between Long Beach and countries in the East Coast of South America and the Caribbean, via the Panama Canal.

The MOU calls for an exchange of ideas in the areas of engineering, dredging technology and environmental practices. The Panama accord also covers marketing activities and the exchange of technical expertise in several areas, including engineering, training and environmental programs. The Canal is undergoing an expansion project expected to be completed by 2014, which will allow larger ships to transit through.

The Port of Long Beach has similar MOUs in place with several ports in China, Europe and Mexico. “Latin America is a relatively small but an emerging trade partner for our region,” says Richard Steinke, Port of Long Beach executive director. “This partnership will help increase our reach to this market as it expands.”

The MOU further expands an international network of maritime entities dedicated to pursuing green, sustainable developments. “The Port of Long Beach is a key logistics leader, and we look forward to promoting the Canal to increase international trade among Long Beach, Latin America and the Caribbean,” says Alemán Zubieta, Panama Canal Authority administrator and chief executive officer.